How To Find A Real Estate Agent You Will Enjoy Working With

agentThe longevity of the relationship between you and your real estate agent depends on your ability to get along and have some type of chemistry.  While that may sounds like the requirements for a romantic relationship, they do tend to be based on the same key principles.  Chemistry and good communication between both parties is extremely important.  Dean Graziosi has shared some help tips to ensure that you find a real estate agent you enjoy working with until your deal is closed.

In today’s technologically driven world, it has become common for many prospective buyers to begin their search online long before they ever contact an agent.  During this time, as a buyer you should ask your friends and family if they have an agent that they enjoyed working with.  It is recommended that you gain some insight into your local market before you contact an agent.  This will allow you to become familiar with what is available and what the asking prices tend to be.  Once you have determined what you want and what you can afford, you should then contact an agent and begin the formal home buying process.

The next step in ensuring that you have found an agent that you can imagine working with for possibly months is to take it slow.  Take some time to get to know them and learn about their experience and history in the real estate market.  This will provide you valuable insight into whether or not you are a good fit for each other.  The process of purchasing a home can be rather emotional for some buyers, which is why you need to trust that your agent will be supportive during the process.  You are also going to be sharing a lot of your financial and personal information with this person, this means that you need to have some level of trust that you are comfortable with.  Rushing in and simply working with the first agent you contact may be a mistake you come to regret later, take your time and choose the agent that is right for you.

Another key to building a successful relationship with your agent is the ability to communicate clearly with each other.  This is perhaps the most important element of the relationship.  You should be upfront from the beginning on what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.  Don’t hesitate to express any concerns you may have during the process.  You will be spending a lot of time together, so the better you are able to work together the more successful your relationship will be.  And when it comes time to part ways, you will be able to part on good terms.

Do You Need More Home Insurance If Your Value Recently Increased

insuranceDean Graziosi states that it has become more common for homeowners to track the value of their home.  This can partly be attributed to the recent housing crisis, in which many homeowners saw the value of their home decrease dramatically.  With this extra knowledge, many homeowners are curious as to whether they should increase their home insurance as their values increase.  If you are one of the homeowners who are wondering the same thing, I thought you would benefit from my experience.

To help you understand how real estate prices and home insurance values relate, I thought it would be a good idea to explain each one.  Real estate prices are primarily established by the demand in that particular market.  The higher the demand is for a home, the higher the price a seller can ask.  The price of the home also depends on a number of other factors, such as, location.  In the real estate market, location is probably the most important factor that goes into deciding the price of a home.  If you are selling a home in an up and coming neighborhood, this popularity can affect the price of a home in that area.  If a home is located in a great school district, this can also be a factor for buyers who have young children.  But just as with all fads, popularity and the demand for homes in a particular area can decrease.  When this happens, the value of homes in that area can decrease dramatically.

When it comes to purchasing home insurance, homeowners typically base the amount of coverage they purchase not on what was paid for the home, but by purchasing sufficient dwelling coverage.  This will allow you to rebuild your home in the case that it experiences damage from fire or other natural disasters that are covered by the policy.  Insurance agents decide on this amount by taking certain information into account.  Some of the factors that are used are known as replacement value of your home.  This includes the size of the house and what it would cost in your area to rebuild the home.

Insurance companies will also take into consideration how big of a risk is presented by the home and the homeowner.  Once again, location is an important factor in deciding the insurance coverage you should purchase on your home.  The area in which your home is located can determine the most common types of threats that your home is vulnerable to.  If your home is located near a forest or a tornado prone area, you will likely end up paying more for insurance than in other areas.

The best way to determine if you should purchase additional home insurance is whether there has been a change in the replacement value of your home.  This can be determined by finding out if there has been an increase in building costs in your area; and if you have made any recent renovations to your home, states Dean Graziosi.  If either of these factors relate to your home, you should consider purchasing additional home coverage.

What You Need to Know After Buying A Historic Home

historicSo you’ve just purchased your new dream home complete with all the features you’ve always wanted, but it’s in a historic district and has come with its share of problems. Making repairs on a historic property will differ because of rules and regulations you will be required to follow. Below Dean Graziosi has included some information that will help you take your first steps toward making those repairs and restoring your new home to its natural beauty.

Most interior changes won’t be affected by the historical status of your home. You may be required, however, to keep it up regularly. All you will probably need are typical building permits to renovate the inside of your home. Exterior changes, however, require planning approvals. You should consult with your local planner early on in the buying process to find out all you’ll need to know for your area. Check back often during the projects you are undertaking to make sure all details are receiving attention.

Adding onto the property if it is considered a local landmark is another project entirely. Here, you will need to get permission from the Historic Preservation Commission. Small changes such as ordinary repairs and maintenance won’t need to go through this commission. Here, the planning staff will probably be able to help you with the details. Also, different areas may have varying requirements, so it is important to familiarize yourself with your particular location.

When buying the property, you’ll know whether or not it will need work and how much. Consider the cost of this work plus that of securing any permits you will need to take care of it. Owning a historic home can be a dream come true, but if you have to then turn around and put a whole lot of money into it, the dream can turn into a nightmare.

Plan your projects well. Get all the information you’ll need before making the plans. That way you won’t be surprised to find out you should have secured something you were unaware of and you’ll stay within the zoning guidelines. If you are on a tight budget, take care of each project separately. That way you can pour a lot of time and energy into them all individually. Budgeting for all your projects will also help you keep up with expenses as you go along. An article posted on sf.curbed.com points out you can actually save money by purchasing a historic home.

Owning and restoring a historical house can be very satisfying. If your dream is to purchase an older home, one in the historic district might be the perfect choice. It may come with more headaches, but will all be worth it in the end. You can learn more about this and other real estate topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.

FHA Loans and Interest Rate Lock-Ins

FHA loansWhen applying for an FHA loan, you will begin by filling out an application as with any other type of loan. You will work with the lender to obtain approval of the loan, and once this has occurred, you can then move forward with securing it. The tricky part can be agreeing on an interest rate that you, the borrower will pay throughout the duration of your new loan. Dean Graziosi provides some useful information about this process below.

When you and the lender agree on an interest rate, this is what is known as a lock-in. Both you and the lender are committing to this rate and will enter into an agreement. Negotiating the interest rate is a standard part of obtaining an FHA loan. There are, however, some important rules to consider.

As an article posted on FHA.com notes, “Under all currently active FHA single family mortgage insurance programs, the borrower and the lender negotiate the interest rate and any discount points.” Once you and the lender agree on an interest rate and it is locked in, other FHA rules apply. These rules state that the lender may charge a commitment fee that will guarantee the interest rate and any discount points for a specified period of time. This commitment is in writing. The extent to which the interest rate or discount points can change may also be limited.

FHA loans can work much differently from conventional loans, so it is important to thoroughly understand what you are taking on before deciding this is the best option for you. Locking in an interest rate is very important because you will always know how much interest you are required to pay each month, but you should be aware of any additional expenses you may incur along the way.

So, how long do you have from the time of the agreement to the lock-in actually taking effect? According to FHA.gov, the minimum time for lock-ins is 15 days. It may be possible for the loan to close in less than 15 days at the borrower’s convenience, and the lender still may be able to earn the lock-in fees. Lenders are required to honor all relevant commitments.

What happens if the interest rate needs to be re-negotiated? Can you and the lender come to an agreement for a rate that is different from the previously agreed upon lock-in rate? Here the borrower is required to provide you with a HUD interest rate disclosure statement that will explain the terms of the loan are, in fact, negotiable. If there is an increase in either the interest rate itself or discount points, the lender will need to re-qualify you. This rule may require you to re-submit to a credit check, a debt-to-income ratio calculation, or other re-qualification data the financial institution requires.

Before locking in an interest rate, know what fees you may be required to pay and make sure the funds are there to do so. An FHA loan may be the best option for you, and the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be in the long run. You can find more real estate topics at Dean Graziosi’s blog.

How to Raise The Value of Your Home

valueIf you are considering selling your home, you may want to find ways to raise its value before putting it on the market. There are plenty of renovations and changes you can make to do this, but you’ll want to be sure to check the cost before deciding. Dean Graziosi understands the difference between necessary repairs and adding value, and has provided this information for you to consider.

There’s a big difference between necessary repairs and adding value to your home. Some repairs need to be made before the house ever goes up for sale, while changes made to actually increase the value of your property are used to get you more money. So what raises the value of a home these days?

Bonus rooms are a big hit. This doesn’t mean you should necessarily build one, but it does mean possibly reinventing space you already have in order to accommodate modern amenities. For example, a small bedroom would make a great office or study while a rarely used den could be turned into a game room. Outside areas can be enclosed and equipped with outdoor kitchens or other options for entertaining. It’s all in how you want to create the space so be creative.

If you aren’t sure what to do about some extra space you are not using, leave it empty. Prospective buyers can use their imagination to determine how they would effectively use it.

Update your kitchen. As an article on bankrate.com points out, the kitchen is a critical room in the home. It’s where a lot of activity takes place. Nice large ones can be equipped with islands, bars, or tables, but smaller rooms can still have a lot of appeal. While you probably can’t actually enlarge the room itself, you can make some simple changes that will make all the difference in the world.

Take a look around your kitchen and assess the need for updates. How old are the appliances? Could they use replacing? Should you also replace cabinetry and hardware? What about the floors? Sure this can get pricey, but you won’t need to do it all at once. If you plan far enough in advance, you should be able to make all the necessary changes before it is time to even consider putting your home on the market.

Have you considered a swimming pool? While pools are a lot of work to maintain, they do add value to the home, especially if they are in-ground.

What about a storm shelter? Depending on where you live, this may be a very relevant renovation to consider since it can actually help save lives.

There are many projects that can raise the value of your home. Before tackling any, obtain costs and know just what they will entail. You can learn more about this and other real estate topics by visiting Dean Graziosi’s website.